Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Who Said It? Part 10

OK, let's try again - this one is WAY out there:

There is nothing in religion beyond the ordinary powers of nature. A revival is not a miracle, nor dependent on a miracle, in any sense. It is a purely philosophical result of the right use of the constituted means—as much so as any other effect produced by the application of means. . . . A revival is as naturally a result of the use of means as a crop is of the use of its appropriate means.

2 comments:

Chuck N said...

Finney

Jim Pemberton said...

Again?

If so, I'm not sure I follow what Finney has written here either. I need a frame of reference for his comments.

In a way, this quote intrigues me because it touches on a part of the philosophical difference that divides naturalistic scientists from theistic scientists. I think that the idea that what is normally understood to be "natural" is foundational and what is normally understood to be "supernatural" is exceptional is part and parcel with the existentialism that informs today's western thought. I see less of a distinction between "natural" and "supernatural", understanding that the "supernatural" is foundational to the "natural". Therefore, things that break the rules we observe of creation are yet within the realm of God's capacity to function (for which there is no limit). Therefore, a miracle is no big deal. What is a big deal is for God to forgive and reconcile any part of creation to Himself, because it seems against His Holy nature to do so. Nevertheless, it is because of His Holiness that we are made in His image. Therefore, He reconciles us because of His Holiness, not in spite of it. This is true nature. The fallen world, therefore, is "sub-natural".